This week's Sunday Night Suds looks at New Belgium's 1554 Enlightened Black Ale.
I picked up this brew at the well regarded Bellport Beer & Soda. The store itself does not stand out from the road and it appears from the outside to be a run of the mill beverage center in a rural area of Suffolk County. But looks certainly can be deceiving as the store is anything but average. The selection may be one of the best on Long Island and the people who work there (especially Dave, the owner) really know their stuff.
But enough about the store, lets talk about the brew. The 1554 Black Ale touts itself as an "enlightened" Black Ale. By this the beer does not mean that it is a light beer or that it is low in calories, flavor or alcohol content. The beer pours a dark brownish black and the first sip brings a flavor reminiscent of Guinness, but that is where the resemblance to a stout ends. This beer lets you know that it is an ale, but one unlike any I have ever sampled before.
After sharing the brew with Mrs Kosher Beers last night (sorry that I am unable to post these on Sundays during the summer again, I hope to be back on schedule IYH within a few weeks) I went perusing BA, looking for information about this hybrid beer. I found that it has been labeled a Belgian Dark Ale, a style of beer I was completely unfamiliar with. The folks at BA explain that:
Belgian Darks offer a massive range of characters. Colors play within the amber to light brown to deep garnet hues, with thick, rocky heads of great retention. Aromas can be anywhere from traces of yeast, spiced, malty, floral and even slightly intoxicating. Flavors from dry and spiced, to sweet and malty. Most have a low level of bitterness.
I wish that I could find more of this locally, but its just not sold in my area. Well, there is always the annual sukkos trip to Chicago...
New Belgium Two Degrees Below is under the Kosher Supervision of the Scroll-K of Colorado. Although the beer does not bear the kosher symbol on the label, it can be found on the bottom of the six pack carrier. Additionally, if you would like me to e-mail you the LOC for New Belgium Two Degrees Below, send me an e-mail and I will gladly oblige.
Please note that not every brew produced by New Belgium is under kosher supervision. Please check my latest Kosher Beer List (http://kosherbeers.blogspot.com/2010/02/sunday-night-suds-samuel-adams-noble_21.html ) for a complete listing of those New Belgium brews which are certified kosher.
To see what the experts on Beer Advocate think about New Belgium 1554 Black Ale Below, please follow this link http://beeradvocate.com/beer/profile/192/1914 . As always, please remember to drink responsibly and to never waste good beer unless there is no designated driver.
If you've tried this beer or any others which have been reviewed on the kosher beers site, please feel free to post your comments (anonymous comments are acceptable).
If you have seen this post being carried on another site such as JBlog, please feel free to click http://www.kosherbeers.blogspot.com/ to find other articles on the kosherbeers blogsite. Hey its free and you can push my counter numbers up!